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“Ukraine in Global Ratings” project: a tool for comprehensive monitoring of changes in the country

Kyiv, September 29, 2017.

Comprehensive monitoring of Ukraine’s positions in key global ratings is a useful tool both for investors and the state itself. For investors, it is an indicator of business climate; for internal audience, it is an opportunity to see the country from the perspective of foreigners and use the data for a more detailed research; for the Government, ratings help to measure policy efficiency in various fields, noted Volodymyr Kadygrob, managing partner of Zeitgeist Design and Natalia Popovych, co-founder of UCMC, President of One Philosophy Group of Companies – moderators of an expert discussion on “Ukraine in Global Ratings” project at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

“Ukraine in Global Ratings” is a common initiative of Zeitgeist Design studio, VoxUkraine and online-edition “Ukrainska Pravda”, supported by WNISEF – Western NIS Enterprise Fund. The project encompasses the key global indexes and ratings where Ukraine is present. The infographic allows to track how Ukraine’s position has been changing in the years before and after Maidan and start of reforms. The analysis was conducted by VoxUkraine experts.

“We often refer to Ukraine’s positions in several ratings, but sometimes it is mentioned without context. One rating is not sufficient to draft a realistic conclusion about the situation in the country. However, comprehensive analysis of multiple ratings gives understanding in which fields Ukraine has really seen change, due to reforms and human capital, and which fields remain the most challenging,” explained Sevgil Musayeva-Borovyk, senior editor at “Ukrainska Pravda”. “I often hear people telling that here, from inside of the country, it seems to us that there is little change, while people from abroad say that a lot has changed. So these ratings show Ukraine’s portrait from a foreign perspective,” she added.

“One rating can be quite subjective, it can be used for manipulations. This project shows Ukraine’s positions across almost all representative ratings. It is an absolutely new idea, and this is, I think, the biggest advantage of this project”, said Borys Davydenko, senior editor at VoxUkraine.

The project currently encompasses almost 40 global ratings and indexes, sorted into five groups: economy, freedom, corruption, state and human capital.  The experts took into account other factors, such as changes in the number of participating countries in different years.  In Doing Business rating Ukraine improved its position from 90th in 2014 to 80th in 2016. In Human Depelopment Index, Ukraine’s rating fell from 81th position in 2014 to 84th position in 2016. The most remarkable deterioration happened in the Legatum Prosperity Index (-12 positions in 2016), the best progress – in the Global Competitiveness Index (+11 in 2017, to 81th position of 137, according to World Economic Forum) and Paying Taxes Rating (+23 in 2016, to 84 th position of 190). For more information, see the website of the project: http://www.pravda.com.ua/cdn/graphics/ratings/

For me, KPIs are one of key elements of management. And ratings are one of types of KPIs, which measure situation in the country in various dimensions.  However, KPIs shouldn’t be considered as a goal – it is a tool to measure “fever”: they help to understand what should be done in various fields in order to “cure” the situation in the country,” noted Dmytro Shymkiv, Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration of Ukraine. “We surely need KPIs, because analysis is impossible without quantitative measurement. […] However, it is important to take into account all the ratings. That’s why I believe this project is very important,” noted Tymofiy Milovanov, Honorary President of the Kyiv School of Economics. “Moreover, the project shows that there are no simple answers. It is important for our society and the ongoing discussion about Ukraine’s victories and failures. The opportunity to compare Ukraine’s position in a variety of ratings would make this discussion more constructive,” he added.

The experts noted that a rating is not always objective: it depends on methodology, on state’s attempts to improve its position through targeted but formal changes; it is necessary to consider correlation with other ratings in the interconnected fields. That’s why it is very important to compare the data of many ratings, to see what countries are Ukraine’s “neighbors” there, but also take into account the difference of the overall situation. Dmytro Shymkiv emphasized that a better position in the rating doesn’t always mean positive change. For instance, excessive deregulation may result in worse security at workplaces and worse products security. The country should make a comprehensive analysis and find well-balanced solutions.

According to Liubomyr Markevych, Communications Director at UkraineInvest, indexes are more important for internal audience. To form a positive image abroad, he says, Ukraine should tell more positive stories from those fields where it has achieved success, such as STEM, and improve its positions and education quality in those fields which are the most important in the contemporary world.

“We should pay attention to those indexes which could bring Ukraine into a category of “brand countries”. That would help us to capitalize not only separate enterprises, but the whole country,” added Volodymyr Lupatsiy, expert of the Social Research Center “Sofiya”.

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